BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Not long ago, Dale’s Bar & Grill in uptown Maumee added an outdoor patio and changed the landscape of summer activity in the business district.
Now, longtime business owner Bill Anderson has turned his attention inside his well-known bar and grill, with a significant renovation project that will address cramped kitchen space and reconfigure seating in the entire space.
“I want to improve the experience, so when customers walk through the door, I want them to have the best experience they can possibly have,” Anderson said.
Dale’s closed on January 27 to begin the renovation work with a kitchen expansion project that provides more than 9 feet of additional space and a second cooking station. The larger kitchen is needed to accommodate the customer base that nearly doubles in the warmer months when the patio is open.
“When we were cooking for that many people out of that small kitchen, it was just very inefficient, and it was taking too long to get food out to customers,” said Anderson.
Realizing it would take up to three weeks to complete that project, Anderson decided to focus on renovating other areas of the bar as well.
“If I was going to be down that long, I’m going to take advantage of the time, so we decided to do a total re-do,” he said.
New high-top bench seating is being added along the wall in both the front and back of the bar, along with all new wood-top tables, making it easier to accommodate larger parties as needed. Comfortable six-person booths will also be added in the middle portion of the bar, where the side entrance is located.
In addition to seating, the bar area is getting a whole new look as the plaster along the back bar where drinks are poured has been removed, exposing the 130-year-old original red brick.
“That, to me, is historic, and that will be the backdrop to everything,” Anderson said.
A walk-in cooler has been added behind the bar, which will accommodate the 21 different types of draft beer served daily at Dale’s, including several microbrew choices.
Other bottle coolers, new shelving, new light fixtures and a new walk-in cooler in the basement will also be added, and both the walls and ceiling are getting fresh coats of paint while the bathrooms are getting an upgrade. The project also called for an increase in the electrical capacity, which meant that on at least two occasions, crews had to shut down the power for eight-hour stretches to get the work done, and that impacted the neighboring businesses, Anderson said.
“My neighbors were very cooperative and I sure appreciate that,” he said.
Anderson has enlisted the services of Hoffman Builders to complete the construction work and Greg Zappone assisted with the design concept. While he does not want to disclose the exact cost of the renovation work, only saying it is “a lot,” he did invest approximately $175,000 to construct the patio in 2017. Anderson hopes to have work completed for a grand opening celebration on Monday, February 25.
“All and all, it’s been a really involved project and I am just really excited to do it. I’m putting back into this business what all of our customers have given to us in the last three decades,” Anderson said. “I think that’s important for business owners – to keep moving forward, keep upgrading and reinvest. We are reinvesting what our customers have invested in us.”